Let’s start with a little history: I have worked out ever since I can remember. I grew up watching my mom exercise daily. My mom worked a full-time job, but she never neglected her daily habits. You never heard her complain or make excuses. That definitely set the tone for me and really formed my views on daily exercise. We had books on calisthenics, Jane Fonda videos and a slant board. We never had weights or anything like that. I remember at a very young age doing exercises from the calisthenic books and using the slant board for sit-ups. By the time I was a teenager, I was doing Jane Fonda videos pretty regularly. I loved putting on a sweat band, leg warmers and high cut leotard. I think I may have even wrapped a skinny belt around my waist. Let’s face it, I wanted to be Jane Fonda! lol I never had a weight problem. Quite the opposite. I was always small-boned and petite-framed. Boy has that changed!!! I actually was picked on for being skinny by extended family. I don’t remember peers picking on me though. I never exercised with the thoughts of it making me lose weight. I never heard my mom say anything about the two being related. I only knew that it was a daily habit. In High School, I took an elective class – ‘Weightlifting’. I know, who does that? When I wasn’t flirting with the boys, I was learning the ropes with using free weights and machines. The boys were always encouraging me to try the squat rack … hmmm, I knew better. I loved weights and have pretty much stuck with adding resistance training into my routine ever since.
I did a lot of cardio back in my 20’s and early 30’s and somewhat neglected the weights. It worked. I kept the baby weight off from having children, with little struggle. After all .. age and a rocking metabolism were at my advantage. I was definitely thin, but had a lot of fat on my body from poor eating habits and lack of weight training. In my mid thirties, after having my fifth child … I dug back into the weights and enjoyed the transformation that resistance training does; that cardio cannot do. I did a few years of hard core workouts, studied nutrition and exercise, and competed in a few bikini competitions. Loved it! Wow, what a bod!! I do miss it at times!
Those days have passed, but I certainly enjoyed the knowledge I gained and the body I HAD!! Just like everything in life – things change, goals change, schedules change and priorities change. If I ever wanted to go back to a rigorous routine, I have the knowledge and training background to do so. But, I don’t see that happening, and I am pretty content with where I am at, and what I am currently doing. With that said, let’s dive into what a ‘Week in Workouts’ looks like for me, currently . . .
Some basics about me and my workout routine:
- I workout 4 days a week, no less, sometimes more.
- I always workout upon awakening or on an empty stomach. I re-fuel with a meal, after my workouts.
- I do abs every time I workout.
- I do not always do weight training. Although, I do encourage it. It is part of my New Years Goals to get back into doing more weights, again.
- Most of my cardio routines focus heavily on muscle development in the legs. Therefore, I do not do a lot of other specific leg training.
- I love mixing up my cardio routines, and feel that it is important to do so. My favorite form of cardio, and what I feel gives me the best results is ‘Tabata’. Down below, I will explain more of what that is.
- From Spring – to – Fall seasons, I like one of my weekly workouts to be a long-distance run (6 miles or more), followed up with stretching and abs. This post was published during the winter, so you won’t see that today. I do some cardio outside during the winter, as you will see below . . . but no long distance runs. I also do a lot of weighted walking lunge exercises in the warmer seasons. As a result, the legs take on a nice shape. Perfect for sporting shorts and leggy dresses.
- I do not stretch before my workouts. Only midway or after my workouts. I do feel it important to warm up your muscles, even if it is a non-cardio day and you are doing resistance training, only. Ten minutes of moderate cardio is perfect. To save time, I will do my stretches in between weight lifting or ab sets. I think it is very important to stretch post-workout …. especially leg muscles. I tend to get tight hamstrings very easily, If I slip on doing my stretches.
- I generally eat my heartiest meal of the day, post-workout. This is when I incorporate starchy carbs.
- I have had to recognize that now with me working from home and having a more sedentary career, I don’t require as many calories, per day, I have had to adjust that and make it a priority that even on my ‘off’ workout days to force myself to move my body throughout the day.
- I do not hate working out, but I do not love it, either. I would much rather spend my time doing something else, like getting more sleep. lol
- I believe it is my responsibility to exercise. I don’t make excuses and generally just get the job done, whether I want to or not. It’s so much more a mind-set, than motivation or will-power. I also don’t prescribe to the misconception that working out will make you thinner. The saying, “You can’t work off a bad diet!” is brutally honest!
Cardio: 1 hour walking on the treadmill at a speed of 3.5 and incline of 10.
Resistance Training: Tracy Anderson 5 – minute arms
Abs: 4 – 1 minute Planks … doing stretches in between sets.
Cardio: 10 Minutes of Running Steps + 1 mile run + 10 – 35 yard Sprints with Back Pedals. I did this workout, late morning. If I had not had that opportunity, and had to workout at my normal 4 or 5 a.m. time . . . I would have done a Tabata.
Resistance Training: 5 minute Tracy Anderson Arms, Light weight training (I vary this). The day that I typed this, I did some bicep work, a hamstring exercise with weights and a glute exercise, without weights.
Abs: I spent about 10 minutes doing abs. I did my stretches in-between sets. I generally do 3-4 sets of about 3 different ab exercises. I mix it up. I like to focus on different parts of the abdominal muscles each time I do my ab routine. Upper and lower abs, and obliques.
Cardio: Tabata (HIIT) I love high intensity workouts! They kick your butt in a short amount of time. I do anywhere from 4 – 7 different plyometric type exercises … depending on time. I do my stretches in between exercises. *Plyometrics are described below
Resistance Training: Using weights (dumbbells) I worked chest and back. A couple exercises for each.
Abs: 10 minutes of varied exercises
Cardio: 10 Minutes of Running Steps + 40 Minutes on the Treadmill (doing same speed and incline, as above) + 10 Minutes more of Steps
Resistance Training: 5 minute Tracy Anderson Arms (I did a different Youtube video than I did earlier in the week).
Abs: 4 – 1 minute Planks … doing stretches in between sets.
Tabata Training is one of the most popular and effective forms of high intensity interval training (HIIT). It consists of 8 rounds of ultra-high-intensity exercises in a specific 20-seconds-on, 10-seconds off interval. This is a circuit-training type workout. The beauty of tabata is that it saves time for people. It requires no equipment. Maybe a Tabata Timer app on your phone. Thats about it. Tabata training offers maximum benefit with the least amount of time used to get those results.
Tabata Training will raise your metabolism and heart rate immediately. Since you are performing these exercises at a very high intensity, your body will have to work much harder to keep it up. This will cause your heart rate to pump fast and your metabolism to jump, which you want if your goal is to burn fat. Your metabolism will stay at that high . . . not only during the workout, but after the workout as well. This means that your body will be burning fat for hours after.
Plyometrics, also known as ‘jump training’ or ‘plyos’, are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time. The goal with plyometrics is increasing power (speed-strength). Athletes do a lot of plyos, for this exact reason. Doing plyometrics are a killer. It is not for the faint at heart. But the benefits are worth the pain. Women that do plyometrics can sculpt lean legs, thin thighs and a tight butt … nuff said! Count me in!
There are plenty of Tabata Training and Tracy Anderson Arm Videos on Youtube. Type either one in the search bar, and several videos will pop up. Find a couple that interest you. Store them in a favorites folder and whola! . . . you have them for when you need them. As always, mix it up.
Don’t forget to read my last two posts for New Years Goal inspiration. They are right below this post. An oldie, but goodie post that may be worth the read – 5 Food & Fitness Tips You Need to Hear. Brace yourself for the bikini competition pic!
Daily Workout Favorites
Water-bottle: Hydroflask | Weightlifting Gloves: Amazon (must have) | Ear headset: Regular ear buds do not stay in my ears. This headset has been awesome!! Non – bluetooth ones, here to replace mine when they do go bad | Tennis shoes: New Balance + Adidas | Workout clothes: I workout from home, so anything works | Dumbbell Set: Amazon (every lady needs this set. It’s the set that I have had all my clients purchase . . . along with a set of 8 lb. Dumbbells & 10 lb. Dumbbells. I also have 15 lb. dumbbells and use them on the regular. The average lady does not need them. Start with the other dumbbells and build upon your set, later. | Step w/ Risers: Amazon I would be lost without this. I use it during every Tabata Training. I also use it as a bench to sit, or lay on in order to do certain lifting moves (dumbbells). I have 4 additional risers (purchase here) to build it up for whatever exercise I am doing. I also have the Slanted Risers. This allows me the freedom to vary my chest exercises and do specific ab routines, among other moves | Treadmill: The one that I have in my home is by NordicTrack. I do love it, but it is old. If you are in the market to purchase a Treadmill, my suggestion is that you search ‘Consumers Report’ and see what they offer for suggestions from consumer reviews. I also get asked often, my opinion on what to purchase as a cardio machine, as a whole – treadmill, elliptical, bike, stairclimber, etc. While nobody can make that decision for you, I will always recommend a treadmill. I believe there is so much more you can do with a treadmill. I prefer the basics, when it comes to exercise equipment. Where did we begin in the first place, is always my mantra!!
I hope this blog post was helpful. Please let me know in the comment section below what you would like to see here on my website or in a future Youtube video!